Celebrate Seasonal Freshness with Outdoor Markets in the Brunswick Islands

Summer is the prime time for fresh, local goods in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. The area’s outdoor markets take place throughout each week so you never have to be without seasonal fruits and vegetables, whether you’re a local or a visitor. In addition to produce, the markets are filled with artists and artisans showing off their creative talents and offering pottery, photography, handmade goods, and homemade snacks and desserts. Topping off the perfect outdoor market scene, local musicians can also be found playing at several of the events, making these must-do summer and fall activities.

Southport Waterfront Market
Wednesdays through September 6, 2017; 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Fort Johnston Garrison Lawn, Southport
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1217

Local artisans come together by the Cape Fear River to offer fresh and local produce, baked goods, arts and crafts, and more. Enjoy the shade of ancient Live Oak trees with music and entertainment.

Oak Island Farmers and Artisans Market
Mondays through September 4, 2017; 8:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Middleton Park, Oak Island
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1306

Market-goers can pick up fresh produce, homemade goods, like cakes and jam, as well as a variety of handmade crafts, like jewelry and potholders.

Ocean Isle Beach Waterfront Market
Mondays through September 11, 2017; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
East Second Street, Ocean Isle Beach
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1359

Held in the town center’s grassy field, feel the ocean breeze while shopping for local and homemade produce, baked goods, crafts and more.

Sunset Beach Waterfront Market
Thursdays through October 12, 2017; 9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Sunset Beach Town Park
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1378

Set by the Intracoastal Waterway, the bustling market features local crafters and artists with their homemade treasures and original art. Shop for fresh produce from local farmers, fresh catches of the day, seasonal flowers and plants, and much more.

Shallotte Farmer’s Market
Saturdays through July 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Mulberry Park, Shallotte
http://www.ncbrunswick.com/event/1278

The open-air market is filled with fresh, local produce, arts and crafts, and more. Entertainment by local musicians makes this market a must-visit on Saturdays. Four special seasonal markets will also be held during the fall and holiday season.

To see a full schedule of the outdoor markets and other events in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit www.ncbrunswick.com/events.

Treat Dad to a Father’s Day Getaway in NC’s Brunswick Islands

Family Vacation

This Father’s Day, skip the tie and spoil dad with a getaway to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. With expansive beaches, endless adventures and plenty of opportunities for relaxation, dad will be thanking you for making this Father’s Day the best one yet.

Fish On

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands holds some of the finest fishing spots on the eastern seaboard where dad can cast a line and reel in an abundance of fish. Catch a bite from wahoo, flounder, tuna, mackerel, sea bass, snapper, bluefish and many more. Make a morning or afternoon of reeling in fresh finds at one of the ocean piers perfectly perched for fishing. You can rent all the equipment you need and get bait on site. If dad is looking for to get out on the water, he can choose from inshore and offshore fishing charters including trips to the Gulf Steam. For more information about piers and fishing charters visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/fishing_and_charters.

 Father and son fishing

Hole in One

Known as North Carolina’s “Golf Coast,” North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands features over 30 championship golf courses including some of the top ranked courses in the state.  Combine that impressive number with the mild four-season climate and scenic views, and you have the perfect destination for a golf getaway.  You can even stay in a villa right on the golf course!  See all the area’s golf courses at http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/golf/.

Father and son golfing

Adventure Awaits

For the thrill-seeking dad, head out for an adrenaline-filled adventure in the islands. Fly high above a swamp, and zipline through 100-year-old cypress trees at the Shallotte River Swamp Park. Gliding through the air, dad can enjoy 1.25 miles of ziplines and an aerial adventure park with 53 different challenge elements. Looking for even more excitement? Book a helicopter or pane tour that soars over the islands and lends an even loftier view or you can even go skydiving over the islands and ocean. To plan your adventure, visit http://www.ncbrunswick.com/fun_and_adventure/attractions.

zipline

Break for Brews

Help dad unwind from his day of fun and sample some of the area’s finest brews at the Brunswick Islands’ first local brewery. Check Six Brewing Company has 10-12 various beers on tap, such as pale ales, IPA’s and stouts, perfect for dads seeking a refreshing beverage. Check Six also hosts events like karaoke, brewery tours and sample tastings. Enjoy a fun place to relax after an eventful day and slip into island time.

check six brewery

To plan your getaway with dad this Father’s Day and beyond, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

Check Off Your Beach Bucket List in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

Beach Bucket

A beach vacation in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands offers a chance for some rest and relaxation and also opportunities to create lifelong memories with loved ones.  Across the destination’s five islands, you’ll find all the activities that make for the best beach vacation memories, along with a few unexpected surprises.

Here are seven Brunswick Islands’ beach bucket list activities sure to make your vacation memorable for the whole family:

Build a Sandcastle

Sandcastle

Opportunities abound to try your hand at sandcastle artistry, or relaxing in the sun and strolling alongside the ocean. With 45 miles of idyllic beaches and six separate beach communities over five barrier islands, fun in the sun awaits travelers in need of a relaxing escape or an adventure-packed getaway.  Sandcastle building tip: create a good strong packed foundation for your sandcastle and be sure to keep your sand wet while building!

Get a Sweet Treat

Satisfy your sweet tooth and stop by one of the many locally-owned ice cream shops and creameries sprinkled throughout the destination. With unique flavors and quality ingredients, you’ll be in for a treat. Each shop offers something special, whether it’s homemade recipes, specialty cones, or a welcoming environment with rocking chairs to sit and enjoy some dessert.

Savor Local Seafood

Calabash seafood

Fulfill your craving for fresh seafood with famous Calabash-style cuisine in the town where it was created. Calabash, the “Seafood Capital of the World,” is home to several locally-owned restaurants serving up lightly-battered, perfectly prepared seafood. Numerous restaurants throughout the islands – many with outdoor waterfront dining – feature menus with fresh, locally-caught seafood and home-style sides.

Discover a Coastal Secret

Venture one mile down the coast on foot or by bike from the last beach access on Sunset Beach and take a serene journey to the Kindred Spirit Mailbox, an unexpected sight among the dunes of Bird Island. Take a seat on a nearby bench and write down your innermost thoughts and dreams on one of the notebooks inside the mailbox, or read notes left by other visitors.

See an East Coast Phenomenon

With the beaches of the Brunswick Islands’ unique positioning toward the South, you can set up your chair on the beach to watch the sunrise over the Atlantic and stay put in the same spot to catch a breath-taking sunset over the ocean. You can see this phenomenon for yourself beginning in the fall and continuing through the winter months.

Be on Turtle Watch

Witness the incredible sight of 250-pound Loggerhead sea turtles laying their eggs on the beach, followed by their babies making their first journey from their nest to the sea. From May to August, you might spot the mother laying her eggs in the dunes, and from July to October the babies hatching and venturing toward the ocean.  Local Sea Turtle Protection Organization volunteers monitor the nests throughout the season to answer questions about the process and can tell you when nests may be ready to hatch. Also, several of the Sea Turtle Protection Organizations offer free “Turtle Talks” throughout the summer. See the events calendar for details.

Go Beyond the Beach

Paddleboarding

Looking to get your toes out of the sand and into a marsh or inland adventure? Explore the beautiful marshes, creeks and estuaries along the Intracoastal Waterway by paddle board, kayak and boat. Channel your adventurous side with some fishing or climb the Oak Island Lighthouse or Old Baldy for a stunning aerial view of the ocean and the marshland. Go ziplining over a swamp or explore nature preserves for carnivorous plants.

To begin planning your bucket list-worthy beach vacation to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

Find Seashells by the Seashore in North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands

North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands’ 45 miles of scenic beaches provide plenty of opportunities for discoveries of coastal treasures along the way. Beachgoers going for a stroll are in for a treat with the variety of seashells found in the area – just keep a careful eye toward the sand.

To help with your next Brunswick Islands shelling excursion, below is a guide of just a few of the shells and other treasures you might find on your outing. Just remember to leave the seashells and creatures in their home if they’re still alive!  Shelling Tip: Be aware of the tides and schedule your shelling adventure for low tide.

Angelwings
Resembling the wings of an angel, this shell can get up to about 5 ¾ inches long with 30 sharply beaded ribs.

 

Olive Shells
These shiny, cylindrical shells can grow up to around 2 ½ inches long, and North Carolina is the Northernmost location where they are found in the U.S. 

Olive Shell

True Tulips
The large, spindle-shaped shells have smooth and shiny exteriors and can get up to 9 ½ inches in size.

True Tulip Seashell 

Sand Dollars
Sand dollars are not seashells but sea urchins.  Sand dollars that are safe to take home are white in color from being bleached by the sun. If you see a sand dollar that is darker in color and has tiny spines that resemble hair, please return them to the water.

 

Starfish
A starfish is not actually a fish, but an echinoderm, which is related to the sand dollar. Starfish can live for up to 35 years in the wild and should be handled gently.

To learn more about the shells found in the Brunswick Islands, visit the Museum of Coastal Carolina in Ocean Isle Beach. The museum features impressive displays of beautiful shells from the region and plenty of volunteers that can tell you more about them and even help you identify the shells you found on the beach. Visitors to the museum can also view shark jaws and teeth, and see live sea stars and urchins.

To get shelling and plan your visit to North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands, visit www.NCBrunswick.com.

Pets of NC’s Brunswick Islands Photo Contest Winners

Pets of NC's Brunswick Islands

It’s obvious from the entries in our Pets of NCBI photo contest that our visitors love their pets and their pets love the pet friendly beaches of NC’s Brunswick Islands.  With 125 entries, it wasn’t easy to choose just a few winners but we sure enjoyed looking through all the photos of adorable pets. Thank you to everyone who shared their photos for our contest! And now, here are the winners, along with the inspiration behind their photos and why the Brunswick Islands are their pet-friendly beaches of choice.

1st Place:

Pets of NC's Brunswick Islands

Ava and Gabby, a Jack Russel Terrier and Beagle mix rescued from the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Animal Protective Services, enjoy the sunset on Caswell Beach – photo by Instagram user @amy_jeanphotography. “The Brunswick Islands is a great place to bring your pets because of the amount of beaches, there is a dog park in Southport, a great pet shop in Southport, and absolutely beautiful weather year round. The beaches in the area are exceptional, the temperature of the water, the soft sand and friendliness from people.  It is just a very pet friendly area to bring your companion. We love it!!”

2nd Place:

Buttercup enjoying the Marsh Walk in Southport. “In this photo you see my pup, Buttercup really taking in the atmosphere and obviously loving every second of it. She just loves it when we go on walks down in Southport or out on Oak Island.  My husband and I love coming and visiting Southport and Oak Island. It’s a nice escape from reality for us and we love LOVE the fact that our dogs can come and escape with us. In my picture you can really see the happiness in Buttercups face and that pretty much says it all.” Instagram user @j__to_the__ess

3rd Place:

“Moby loves going out for a paddle on our kayaks, taking walks on the beach, hiking in the woods, chasing tennis balls or just simple going on long car rides. I love that the Brunswick Islands is situated in a region that you can appreciate the dynamics of each season, whether it’s the…solitude of the beaches in the winter months, or the crisp air, fishing and festivals in the fall. I love watching the stunning array of birds and wildflowers in the spring and …excitement of the summer.” Instagram user @rosemarybarron

Honorable Mentions:

 

 

 

 

Levi by Instagram User @steveedmonds

 

 

 

 

 

 

Orvis – Photo by Joanne Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker – Photo by Melinda Hodge Carroll

 

Our random drawing winners:

 

 

Cookie – Photo by Vivica Williams

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guinness – Photo by Jaime Sansale Pavol

 

 

Congratulations to all our winners!  To learn more about NC’s Brunswick Islands visit www.ncbrunswick.com  For pet friendly accommodations click here.